I sat on the plastic blue chair, stared down at the green dots on the floor which designate that area of the hospital as the medical imaging department. I have worked in this hospital, I do not like this, other role, here. I thought about how I ended up here, waiting for a CAT scan of my head, and reminded myself of my Dr’s words, that she’s not expecting to find anything of concern in there, but we’ll do it just to keep ruling things out, or to find something, an explanation for the current bizarre and frightening set of symptoms my body is manifesting, a body that has mutinied for a while now, in various ways, in an effort to show its disdain for how I have driven it, used it, over-used it, for 3 years short of 60.
I cannot help but notice the two women occupying two other plastic blue chairs, directly to my right. A 40-ish daughter is supporting a my age-ish mother, from what I can gather by their conversation. As we wait, mom is asked to guzzle a radioactive cocktail prior to the scan of her innards, and told that the tech will be back for her in an hour, she is free to leave and come back, if she wishes.
They had been laughing until then, attempting to make light in an obviously heavy situation, and then mom breaks down. She is sobbing, and I see the terror in her eyes when I look up at her. She says, “it’s not funny, I wish it was funny.” Her daughter says, “it’s not funny at all mom, not at all. I love you.” Mom laughs and says, “how do I look”? I look toward her, and say, “you look fabulous,” to her child, I say “and you, are a very good daughter.” Mom says “yes, yes she is! I am blessed.” And then she adds, “the lady says I look fabulous, we have an hour, let’s go buy a New Year’s ham.”
We all laugh a little, cry a little, and the two of them walk out of the hospital to buy their New Year’s ham, before coming back, to their heavy reality, in an hour.
I am called in for my head scan, and my heavy reality feels lighter. Validation, to feel seen, heard, understood, in a world where we are all so terribly caught up in self, it’s all most of us need, to be OK in, to lighten, the heavy times.
December 28, 2018